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Reporter Careers

In journalism, a Reporter relays reliable and truthful information to the public audience. There are different mediums reporters use to do this major task. Some examples include print and media. A Reporter gathers factual and vital data which should be backed up by interviews and comments of parties or individuals involved in the issue or news. They should also remain unbiased at all times, producing a concise and objective news for consumers.

Of course, as a Reporter, one is expected to have great communication and interpersonal skills. The job involves dealing and talking to many people, so these skills are really necessary to do the job of being a Reporter. In addition, computer skills are also needed since news is also consumed in different social media platforms which can be accessed through computers.

The average salary of a Reporter is $41,000 per year. As they level up, they can take the role of a director of marketing and public relations, with the necessary requirements and sufficient experiences. The most commonly required education level when applying for the position of a Reporter is a bachelor's degree.

What Does a Reporter Do

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events happening internationally, nationally, and locally. They report the news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio.

Duties

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts typically do the following:

  • Research topics and stories that an editor or news director has assigned to them
  • Interview people who have information, analysis, or opinions about a story or article
  • Write articles for newspapers, blogs, and magazines and write scripts to be read on television or radio
  • Review articles for accuracy and proper style and grammar
  • Develop relationships with experts and contacts who provide tips and leads on stories
  • Analyze and interpret information to increase their audiences’ understanding of the news
  • Update stories as new information becomes available

Reporters and correspondents, also called journalists, often work for a particular type of media organization, such as a television or radio station, newspaper, or website.

Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts. These workers are often responsible for editing interviews and other recordings to create a cohesive story and for writing and recording voiceovers that provide the audience with the facts of the story. They may create multiple versions of the same story for different broadcasts or different media platforms.

Most television and radio shows have hosts, also called anchors, who report the news and introduce stories from reporters.

Journalists for print media conduct interviews and write articles to be used in newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Because most newspapers and magazines have print and online versions, reporters typically produce content for both versions. Doing so often requires staying up to date with new developments of a story so that the online editions can be updated with the most current information.

Some journalists may convey stories through both broadcast and print media, as well as help manage the organization’s web content. For example, television stations often have a website, and a reporter may post a blog or an article for the website. Similarly, a reporter working for newspapers or magazines may create videos or podcasts that people access online.

Stations are increasingly relying on multimedia journalists to publish content on a variety of platforms, including radio and television stations, websites, and mobile devices. Multimedia journalists typically record, report, write, and edit their own stories. They also gather the audio, video, or graphics that accompany their stories.

Reporters and correspondents may need to maintain a presence on social media networking sites. Many use social media to cover live events, provide additional information for readers and viewers, promote their stations and newscasts, and engage better with their audiences.

Some journalists, particularly those in large cities or large news organizations, cover a particular topic, such as sports, medicine, or politics. Journalists who work in small cities, towns, or organizations may need to cover a wider range of subjects.

Some reporters live in other countries and cover international news.

Some reporters—particularly those who work for print news—are self-employed and take freelance assignments from news organizations. Freelance assignments are given to writers on an as-needed basis. Because freelance reporters are paid for the individual story, they work with many organizations and often spend some of their time marketing their stories and looking for their next assignment.

Some people with a background as a reporter or correspondent work as postsecondary teachers and teach journalism or communications at colleges and universities.

Broadcast news analysts are another type of media occupation. Broadcast news analysts are often called upon to provide their opinion, rather than reporting, on a particular news story. They may appear on television, radio, or in print and offer their opinion to viewers, listeners, or readers. However, most broadcast news analysts come from fields outside of journalism and have expertise in a particularly subject—for example, politics, business, or medicine—and are hired on a contract basis to provide their opinion of the subjects being discussed. Becoming a broadcast news analyst is typically not a career path for new journalists.

How To Become a Reporter

Employers generally prefer to hire reporters and correspondents who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications along with an internship or work experience from a college radio or television station or a newspaper.

Education

Most employers prefer workers who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications. However, some employers may hire applicants who have a degree in a related subject, such as English or political science, and relevant work experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs in journalism and communications include classes in journalistic ethics and techniques for researching stories and conducting interviews. Some programs may require students to take liberal arts classes, such as English, history, economics, and political science, so that students are prepared to cover stories on a wide range of subjects.

Some journalism students may benefit from classes in multimedia design, coding, and programming. Because content is increasingly being delivered on television, websites, and mobile devices, reporters need to know how to develop stories with video, audio, data, and graphics.

Some schools offer graduate programs in journalism and communications. These programs prepare students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field to become journalists.

Other Experience

Employers generally require workers to have experience gained through internships or by working on school newspapers. While attending college, many students seek multiple internships with different news organizations. These internships allow students the opportunities to work on stories and put together a portfolio of their best writing samples or on-air appearances.

Advancement

After gaining more work experience, reporters and correspondents can advance by moving from news organizations in small cities or towns to news organizations in large cities. Larger markets offer job opportunities with higher pay and more responsibility and challenges. Reporters and correspondents also may become editors or news directors.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Journalists must be able to report the news both verbally and in writing. Strong writing skills are important for journalists in all kinds of media.

Computer skills. Journalists should be able to use editing equipment and other broadcast-related devices.

Interpersonal skills. To develop contacts and conduct interviews, reporters need to build good relationships with many people. They also need to work well with other journalists, editors, and news directors.

Objectivity. Journalists need to report the facts of the news without inserting their opinion or bias into the story.

Persistence. Sometimes, getting the facts of a story is difficult, particularly when those involved refuse to be interviewed or provide comment. Journalists need to be persistent in their pursuit of the story.

Stamina. The work of journalists is often fast paced and exhausting. Reporters must be able to keep up with the additional hours of work.

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Average Salary
$41,720
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-10%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
7,065
Job Openings

Reporter Career Paths

Top Careers Before Reporter

Editor
8.2 %

Top Careers After Reporter

Editor
15.6 %

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Reporter

Reporters in America make an average salary of $41,720 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $66,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Salary
$41,720

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Washington, DC
Salary Range46k - 85k$63k$63,168
New York, NY
Salary Range38k - 73k$53k$53,359
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range38k - 71k$52k$52,210
Seattle, WA
Salary Range36k - 63k$48k$47,677
Rockville, MD
Salary Range33k - 61k$45k$45,482
Miami, FL
Salary Range33k - 61k$45k$45,372
$25k
$85k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Lifestyle Show Reporter
Lifestyle Show Reporter
Nexstar Media Group
Nexstar Media Group
03/18/2021
03/18/2021
$33,50003/18/2021
$33,500
Morning Reporter/Mmj, Koaa
Morning Reporter/Mmj, Koaa
The E.W. Scripps Company
The E.W. Scripps Company
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$37,00001/23/2021
$37,000
State Government Reporter
State Government Reporter
Institute for Nonprofit News
Institute for Nonprofit News
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$40,00001/21/2021
$40,000
Kpbs Science & Technology Reporter
Kpbs Science & Technology Reporter
SDSU Research Foundation
SDSU Research Foundation
01/11/2021
01/11/2021
$51,17301/11/2021
$51,173
Community Engagement Reporter
Community Engagement Reporter
Institute for Nonprofit News
Institute for Nonprofit News
12/17/2020
12/17/2020
$50,00012/17/2020
$50,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Reporter Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Reporter. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Reporter Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Reporter resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Reporter Demographics

Gender

female

52.6 %

male

42.6 %

unknown

4.8 %

Ethnicity

White

69.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.0 %

Black or African American

7.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.1 %

French

16.1 %

Chinese

5.0 %
See More Demographics

Reporter Education

Majors

English
9.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

76.3 %

Masters

7.2 %

Certificate

6.8 %

Top Colleges for Reporters

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

5. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

7. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

9. Emory University

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,306
Enrollment
6,975

10. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Reporter

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 29.1% of reporters listed news stories on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and computer skills are important as well.

  • News Stories, 29.1%
  • On-Air, 6.8%
  • Facebook, 5.7%
  • Twitter, 5.3%
  • Photography, 5.0%
  • Other Skills, 48.1%
  • See All Reporter Skills

Best States For a Reporter

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a reporter. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont. Reporters make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $53,836. Whereas in New York and New Jersey, they would average $53,187 and $52,234, respectively. While reporters would only make an average of $47,261 in Vermont, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Reporter Jobs:
201
Highest 10% Earn:
$111,000
Location Quotient:
5.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Reporter Jobs:
674
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
2.23
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Reporter Jobs:
31
Highest 10% Earn:
$73,000
Location Quotient:
1.57
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Reporter Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ reporters and discovered their number of reporter opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that World Journal was the best, especially with an average salary of $45,977. Bloomberg follows up with an average salary of $87,225, and then comes Dow Jones with an average of $74,849. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a reporter. The employers include CBS, The Gazette Company, and Institute for Nonprofit News

1. World Journal
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$45,977
Reporters Hired: 
188+
2. Bloomberg
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$87,225
Reporters Hired: 
180+
3. Dow Jones
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$74,849
Reporters Hired: 
89+
4. The Korea Times
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$41,403
Reporters Hired: 
73+
5. Associated Press
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$57,809
Reporters Hired: 
63+
6. CBS
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$81,706
Reporters Hired: 
63+